Currently viewing the category: "brush footed butterfly caterpillars"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bug Near Monarch Chrysalides
Geographic location of the bug:  Mahopac, NY
Date: 07/20/2019
Time: 03:28 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
This year is my first year raising monarch butterflies. I came across this small brownish-tan bug on the same leaf as a chrysalis in my potted fuschia plant outside. I didn’t think much of it being a potential parasitic predator until I saw it extend its abdomen downward toward the top of the chrysalis. I pinched off the leaf with the chrysalis and brought it indoors, leaving the other bug outside. One day later I saw another one crawling on top of my monarch habitat/chrysalis support. I’m wondering what this insect is, and if it will cause any harm to the butterfly. I’ve read about parasitic wasps and tachinid flies, but nothing like this. I will definitely be raising monarchs indoors next year, but this was an unexpected experience, one that shows how vulnerable these creatures are. The pictures I’ve attached show the bug on the indoor wooden support, another in the plant outside with the chrysalis, and a separate, tainted chrysalis I found had fallen previously in my fuschia plant. I did take the  withered, fallen chrysalis inside (about 5 days ago) and attached it to the support, and am now wondering if the bug I found iside emerged from that chrysalis…
How you want your letter signed:  Emeline

Monarch Chrysalis and Aphid Wolf

Dear Emeline,
The insect in question is a Lacewing Larva, commonly called an Aphid Wolf.  It is a predator, and we cannot entirely discount that it might try to feed off a Monarch chrysalis, but we doubt that possibility.  It most definitely did not emerge from the Chrysalis.  Lacewing Larvae are generally thought of as beneficial in the garden as they eat Aphids and other small insects, and they hatch from an egg that is suspended above the leaf from a silken thread.

Aphid Wolf

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  CT
Date: 06/30/2019
Time: 05:41 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
I’ve been unable to find this one in my Caterpillars of Eastern North America book, or online.  It was photographed on lam’s quarters, but I don’t know if it was feeding.
How you want your letter signed:  Thanks for taking pity on my curiosity!

Questionmark Caterpillar

Dear Tftpomc,
Though the colors seem light by comparison, we believe your caterpillar is that of a Questionmark butterfly,
Polygonia interrogationis, similar to this BugGuide image.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  hundreds of caterpillars
Geographic location of the bug:  Summerville, Northeastern Oregon
Date: 06/25/2019
Time: 03:42 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We awoke to hundreds of these caterpillars on the hollyhocks and crawling in the yard.
How you want your letter signed:  Bob

Painted Lady Caterpillar

Dear Bob,
Knowing the plant upon which an insect is feeding is often a tremendous assistance in identification, so we quickly located this BugGuide image of a Painted Lady,
Vanessa cardui, caterpillar on Hollyhocks, and it looks like your individual.  The Painted Lady is one of the most wide ranging butterfly species on the planet and it is sometimes called the Cosmopolitan, but interestingly, in the 17 years we have maintained What’s That Bug?, we cannot locate a single other image in our nearly 27,000 unique postings (26,988 to be exact) of a Painted Lady Caterpillar, though the genus is well represented with caterpillar images of the American Lady, Virginia Lady and Red Admiral.  Since the species is so wide ranging, the caterpillar must have a more varied diet than some very localized species that feed on a single plant or genus of plants.  According to BugGuide:  “Caterpillars feed primarily on Asteraceae and Malvaceae, especially Thistles, Burdock, and Hollyhocks. Many other plants are used occasionally, including Nettle, Alfalfa, Soy Bean, Beet, Borage, Plantain, etc.”  Painted Ladies are prone to mass migrations some years, and it was selected as our Bug of the Month for March 2015.

thanks so much. they are feeding on the hollyhocks and then once on the ground they all seem to be crawling north.  it is interesting!  Bob

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  caterpillar in Tambopata rainforest, Peru
Geographic location of the bug:  Tambopata reserve, Peru
Date: 06/24/2019
Time: 11:09 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this colorful caterpillar in the tropical rain forest in Peru, in the Tambopata river area.
How you want your letter signed:  Gerhard Hüdepohl

Morpho Caterpillar

Dear Gerhard,
This caterpillar is gorgeous, but we have not been able to identify it.  We believe it might be a Prominent Moth Caterpillar in the family Notodontidae, or a Lappet Moth Caterpillar in the family Lasiocampidae.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist with this identification.

Morpho Caterpillar

Correction:  Thanks to a comment from Cesar Crash and a link to this article, we now know this is a Morpho caterpillar, more specifically Morpho amathonte.

Dear Daniel and Cesar,
thank you very much!!  This is excellent news that you were able to identify this caterpillar. I have seen the fabulous Morpho butterflies, but this is the first time to see the caterpillar.
Thanks again,
Gerhard

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Monarch Caterpillars
Geographic location of the bug:  West Los Angeles
Date: 06/22/2019
Time: 04:37 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman,
Thought you’d enjoy seeing these youngsters.  By the way, I’ve replaced all the tropical milkweed in my yard with native plants.
How you want your letter signed:  Jeff Bremer

Early Instar Monarch Caterpillars

That is awesome Jeff.  Can you tell us whether you planted seeds or plants? and provide us with your source for native milkweed?

I bought the plants through Monarch Watch: https://shop.milkweedmarket.org/
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Caterpillar
Geographic location of the bug:  Fieldale, VA
Date: 06/08/2019
Time: 08:38 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Can you please help me identify this caterpillar I pulled off my hops plant in late May/early June?
How you want your letter signed:  Sandra Nester in VA

Questionmark Caterpillar

Dear Sandra,
When attempting to identify plant feeding insects, it is tremendously helpful to know the food plant.  Thanks for informing us this Caterpillar was feeding on hops.  We quickly identified it as the caterpillar of a Questionmark butterfly thanks to BugGuide.  Here is a BugGuide image that looks even more like your individual.  The adult Questionmark is a beautiful butterfly.

Questionmark Caterpillar

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination